According to the Mayo Clinic albuterol (also known as salbutamol) is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs. Albuterol is used to treat bronchospasm (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by reversible obstructive airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta-adrenergic agonists. Beta-adrenergic agonists are drugs that stimulate the beta-adrenergic receptors which are found in the body’s bronchial (airway) and vascular (blood vessel) smooth muscle. When these receptors are stimulated the smooth muscle relaxes resulting in bronchodilation (widening of the airways) and vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels).
The beta-adrenergic receptors are also found in the heart. When these receptors are stimulated they can increase heart rate. In some people this increase in heart rate can be significant and it may not be tolerated. For this reason people with heart conditions should use albuterol with caution.
If you have a heart condition and are using albuterol you should be monitored by a doctor. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of albuterol and gradually increase the dose as needed.
Albuterol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Possible side effects of albuterol include:
If you experience any of these side effects you should contact your doctor.
In rare cases albuterol can cause a serious heart condition known as tachyarrhythmia. Tachyarrhythmia is a condition characterized by a rapid heart rate. If you experience symptoms of tachyarrhythmia such as anxiety shortness of breath chest pain or irregular heartbeat you should seek medical attention immediately.
Albuterol is a safe and effective medication when used as directed. However it is important to be aware of the potential side effects. If you have any concerns you should speak to your doctor.
What is albuterol?
Albuterol is a medication used to treat asthma and COPD.
Does albuterol increase heart rate?
Albuterol can increase heart rate as a side effect.
Why is albuterol used?
Albuterol is used to relieve asthma symptoms and improve breathing.
How does albuterol work?
Albuterol works by relaxing the muscles in the airways to improve breathing.
What are the side effects of albuterol?
Side effects of albuterol include headache dizziness and nervousness.
Is albuterol safe?
Albuterol is generally safe for most people.
What are the warnings for albuterol?
Warnings for albuterol include the risk of increased heart rate and jitteriness.
What are the interactions for albuterol?
Albuterol can interact with other medications such as beta blockers.
What is the dosage for albuterol?
The dosage for albuterol depends on the individual.
How is albuterol taken?
Albuterol is taken by inhalation.
When is albuterol taken?
Albuterol is taken as needed typically every four to six hours.
How long does albuterol take to work?
Albuterol typically begins to work within 15 minutes.
How long does albuterol last?
The effects of albuterol typically last four to six hours.
What happens if I miss a dose of albuterol?
If you miss a dose of albuterol you should take it as soon as you remember.
What happens if I overdose on albuterol?
An overdose on albuterol can be dangerous.
Symptoms of an overdose include increased heart rate seizures and difficulty breathing.
If you think you or someone you know has overdosed on albuterol call 911 or seek emergency medical attention immediately.